Community Group of the Month: Chinnor & Thame Friends of the Earth

We are pleased to welcome Chinnor & Thame Friends of the Earth as our community group of the month for April 2023. 

Chinnor and Thame Friends of the Earth are a long-established group that formed in 1989 to campaign for change in the community, to make a positive difference to the environment at a local, national, and global level. We were delighted to welcome them to the Low Carbon Hub in 2021.

They collaborated with Chinnor Parish Council to develop an Environmental Policy in response to the Climate and Ecological Emergency and produced an infographic to explain the policy to the village.

The Parish Council’s 6 Point Plan can be found here.

The group have plans for short-term and longer-term projects including:

Land and Nature

They are currently working with local landowners to develop a cycle link from Chinnor to the Pheonix Trail that links together the surrounding villages.

They have partnered with Greening Chinnor to support the Donkey Lane Community Orchard and the Mill Lane Community Garden. Over 70 trees have been planted by local volunteers and around half a mile of new hedges planted.

Home and Energy

The group are aiming to provide input on sustainable measures in new housing developments in the area. They are part of the Solar Streets initiative with Thame Green Living and helped to launch Chinnor Solar Streets Plus, a project designed to bring affordable roof top solar panels to households in the community.

They also support Cosy Homes Oxfordshire, the home retrofit project, and organised an evening of retrofit advice with the Cosy Homes team, for the whole community at Thame Town Hall.

Reducing waste and consumption

They hold regular swap shops at the local primary school and attract a large group of volunteers to community litter picks of the area. The most recent Litter Pick had over 30 volunteers, including several children, and 27 bags of rubbish were collected.

They also help to run a plastics reduction campaign with Plastic Free Chinnor.

Green Living Fayre

The group has a warm and friendly ethos, and they host an annual Green Living Fayre each May. Environmental groups from the surrounding area come together to raise awareness of different aspects of climate change at a local and national level.

The next Green Living Fayre is taking place on Saturday 20 May at Mill Lane Chinnor Primary School. Low Carbon Hub’s Energy Advisor will be there with the Energy Advice stall and free samples of draught proofing for next Winter. Cosy Homes Oxfordshire will be there to provide advice on installing bigger energy efficiency measures and whole house retrofits.

Clean Air Campaign

This is part of a Friends of the Earth campaign, supported by Chinnor Parish
Council, to encourage drivers to avoid leaving their engine running unnecessarily, as often happens at the shops and when dropping off or collecting children from school.

Cars are being designed to reduce idling by automatically switching their engine off when stationary, with electric cars causing much less air pollution.

Energy saving advice and resources

Recognising that it can be overwhelming for many of us to know where to start to take action on climate change, the group have some great resources and energy efficiency tips on their website which can be found here.

They also run a successful Climate Café twice per month that is open to anyone to discuss their feelings about climate change in a welcoming environment.